Custer State Park
The Granite Peaks Are Calling ...
The clear mountain waters are inviting, and the open ranges are waiting to be discovered. Bring your family to Custer State Park, and let yourself run wild.
Custer State Park in the Black Hills encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain and an abundance of wildlife. Within the park, you'll discover a world of adventure!
newly opened visitor center
In May 2016, Custer State Park proudly opened the doors of the newly constructed Visitor Center.
A herd of 1,300 bison roams freely throughout the park, often stopping traffic along the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. The herd is one of the largest publically-owned herds in the world.
Bison can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. Historically, the animal played an essential role in the lives of the Lakota (Sioux), who relied on the "tatanka" for food, clothing and shelter.
Besides bison, the park is home to wildlife such as pronghorn antelope, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, wild turkeys, and a band of friendly burros.
Custer State Park boasts several scenic drives that explore the diversity of the area. From the granite spires of Needles Highway to the bison along WIldlife Loop Road.
During the summer season, trout fishing is perhaps one of the most popular recreational activities in Custer State Park. The park offers four mountainous lakes worth exploring in this regard. Center Lake, Legion Lake, Stockade Lake, and Sylvan Lake comprise about 182 acres of crystal blue water and offer habitat for several species of fish.
Custer State Park campgrounds offer a variety of scenic sites. Set up camp along a flowing stream, in the midst of pine forest, or near a mountain lake. The choice is yours!
The Annual Buffalo Roundup draws thousands of people to Custer State Park every September. Watch cowboys and cowgirls as they roundup and drive the herd of approximately 1,300 buffalo.
History and Culture
Walk the banks of French Creek, where Custer's expedition first discovered gold in 1874. Visit the log cabin that was home to Badger Clark, South Dakota's first poet laureate. Or, stop by the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center and witness the unique stone and log construction created by the CCC.
The park offers many educational programs and family activities. Take a guided nature walk lead by park naturalists, participate in a canoeing class, or try your luck catching fish at the Hook 'em and Cook 'em program. Evening campfire programs feature presentations, outdoor-cooking demonstrations and films. For the kids, the Junior Naturalist Program teaches outdoor learning through hands-on activities.
Whether hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, or rock climbing, find your adventure along our roads and trails! Custer State Park's early pioneers, ranchers and loggers have left behind miles of trails and backcountry roads to explore.
Resource management plan
The Custer State Park Resource Management Plan is a comprehensive plan guiding the management of the park's natural resrouces through 2025.
The park includes lodges at Sylvan Lake, Legion Lake, Blue Bell and the State Game Lodge. Each resort has its own flavor, ranging from the stately Game Lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to the mini dude ranch at Blue Bell.
Custer State Park Resort is privately operated under agreement with the Division of Parks and Recreation. Custer State Park Resort provides concessionaire and lodging services to the park.
Contact by phone: 888.875.0001
- Jeep Rides
- Convenience stores
- Trail Rides
- Chuckwagon Cookouts
- Paddle boat, kayak and row boat rentals